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ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday urged the need of increasing the production of honey in Pakistan by utilizing modern beekeeping gear and imparting training to beekeepers on modern lines. He added that the congenial climate and flora of the country provided conducive environment for expanding beekeeping which had great potential to earn foreign exchange and provide employment opportunities to the youth of country.

The President expressed these views while chairing a follow-up meeting on Honey Bee Farming and Harvesting here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. The meeting was attended by Special Assistant to PM on Youth Affairs Usman Dar, Chairman Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Dr Muhammad Azeem Khan, President All Pakistan Beekeepers and Honey Dealers Association (APBHDA) Naeem Qasmi, Secretary General APBHDA Nouroz Khan, Member APBHDA Prof Dr Syed Ishtiaq Anjum, senior officers of the Ministries of Climate Change, National Food Security and Research, Finance, Commerce and other government officials.

Ministry of Climate Change and the Arid Agriculture University briefed the meeting about the steps being taken for the training of beekeepers and the development of beekeeping sector in the country. Chief Conservator Forest Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ali Gohar informed the meeting that his department would plant 6 million berry trees and 10 million Phulai (Acacia Modesta) trees in order to increase the yield of honey.

The President said that the government was encouraging young entrepreneurs and providing them interest-free loans up to Rs500,000 under the Kamyab Jawan Programme to help them establish and run their own businesses.

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